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Northfield, Minnesota Bank Heist Nets Robbers $26.70-a fictional short story
Defeat of Jesse James Days
Yah. I remember that day. It was seventh of September, 1878. How could I forget it? We all took a trip into town that day, Gustav Olson my Pa, my wife Jennifer and me all got in the wagon. We didn’t have any kids yet, but Jenny was in a family way and wanted to look at some of the new things for babies. It was Saturday and town folk were filling the stores to look around and just chew the fat. Folks like us living in the country were doing ‘bout the same thing, ‘cept we had to stock up because we can’t just get to the store everyday.
It’s a good town. We got two colleges Northfield College and St. Olaf College., the first National Bank. We also got wheat and lumber mills, so we are not just some little no account place.
Pa started our farm when he came to America from the old country. When Jenny and I got hitched he gave me a part of the farm to work for ourselves and helped us build a house. A bunch of neighbors pitched in too.
We took the road to the bridge into town. I saw a some riders gathered ‘bout a mile outside town. They din’t pay us no mind when we passed. We meandered down Division street and hitched our wagon outside the hardware store. It was getting on to lunchtime. It’s always a treat for Jenny to get to eat at a restaurant, so we went into the restaurant on Division which was right next to the hardware.. Me and Pa had steaks but Jenny bypassed the meat and went for a vegetable stew..
We took our time and I think it was about one o’clock when we finished up We were just leaving when three men came in and sat down at the counter. They looked like some of the riders we saw outside of town.
We were in the Lee & Hitchcock Dry goods store which was nest to the bank.. Jenny wanted to look at everything, even if we didn’t have no use for it. Well we must of spent ‘bout an hour there. Them three riders were sitting on crates in front of the store when we come out.
Seemed that these guys were acting strange. One of the others was just leaning against a post outside the bank smoking his pipe. Two or three others wandered over by the bridge and looked to be just loafing. A former governor of Mississippi, Adelbert Ames, lives here. One of the men recognized him and said “look, it’s the governor himself.” Well they must have been southerners because nobody here called him governor.
Mr. Allen who owned one of the gun stores and Henry Wheeler, a young medical student seemed to be suspicious of the guys loafing in fron of the bank. Allen went up to the bank but one of the strangers grabbed his arm stopping him from going in. After some words the stranger pushed him away from the bank.Allen broke into a run shouting that the bank was being robbed and get your guns. The stranger took a shot at Wheeler but missed.
Two of the outlaws got on their horses and rode up and down the street shooting in the air, at the ground and shouting anyelling.windows. The others by the bridge came riding in shouting and shooting.
We was by the hardware and gun store . Pa picked out a scattergun, I went for a Springfield rifle and darned if Jenny didn’t grab one like it. Out friends and neighbors were doing the same thing, coming up with weapons of all kinds and varieties. Division street was like a shooting gallery. I admit for all the firepower we probably didn’t hit all that much.
Sadly Nichols Gustavaon a young immigrant who didn’t know English got shot in the head, nobody knows where the shot came from.Likely an accidental shot.
One man rqn out to the bank with a grain sack ofver his shoulder. Shortly after two others ran out and mounted horses.
Two of the men, who we later found to be cole and Bob Younger had a close escape. When Bob ran out of the bank he found his horse had been shot and he was wounded while trying to hold out against the townspeople. As Charlie and Cole rode by, Bob came out of his hiding place.Cole went back for him but they were under fire. Bob was already severely wounded and the gunfire was focused on them now. A bullet hit Bob in the leg and another shot off Cole’s saddle horn and another severed his reins. Somehow he reached down and lifted Bob behind the saddle with him. Cole held the horse’s mane as they raced out of town.
As the gang left town people were throwing rocks and pitchforks at them.
The bank teller was killed and two gang members were killed. This was the ending of the James- Younger gang
For all of this the gang got away with $26.70.
© 2011 Don A. Hoglund